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Iowa snaps skid in 33-13 pasting of Northwestern

Iowa wide receiver Brody Brecht (14) runs for extra yards during a NCAA Big Ten Conference football game against Northwestern, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.

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Credit: Joseph Cress / USA TODAY NETWORK

Senior quarterback Spencer Petras threw for one touchdown and ran for another as host Iowa snapped a three-game losing streak by thrashing Northwestern 33-13 in Big Ten action Saturday afternoon in Iowa City.

Petras completed 21 of 30 passes for 220 yards to lead Iowa (4-4, 2-3 Big Ten) to season highs in points and total yards (393). Kaleb Johnson rushed 14 times for 88 yards and a touchdown. Drew Stevens booted four field goals in the win.

Northwestern (1-7, 1-4) dropped its seventh game in a row as standout running back Evan Hull was limited to 32 rushing yards and 5 catches for 25 yards. Freshman quarterback Brendan Sullivan completed 23 of 30 passes for 159 yards and two scores, but he was sacked seven times and threw an interception.

After winning a week-long battle to remain Iowa’s starter, Petras marched the Hawkeyes to Northwestern’s 12-yard line on the game’s opening drive and claimed a 3-0 lead on Stevens’ 29-yard field goal.

The Hawkeyes finished the job on their second possession as Petras capped a 59-yard drive with a 1-yard sneak to give Iowa a 10-0 lead with 31 seconds left in the first. Meanwhile, Northwestern finished the first quarter with 14 total yards.

Iowa mixed outside runs with short passes to go 85 yards on its third drive, but Northwestern’s defense stiffened inside the 10 and forced Iowa to settle for Stevens’ 24-yard field goal for a 13-0 lead with 2:45 to go in the half.

After the Hawkeyes forced Northwestern into another three-and-out, Petras led a brisk 2-minute drill. Iowa’s 50-yard drive concluded with Luke Lachey’s 6-yard touchdown catch with 22 seconds left to give Iowa the 20-0 halftime bulge.

The Wildcats finally forced an Iowa punt on its first second-half possession — and Tory Taylor’s 13-yard shank set up Northwestern at Iowa’s 34. The Wildcats capitalized as Sullivan hit tight end Duke Olges for a 1-yard score on fourth-and-goal to cut their deficit to 20-7 at 6:17 of the third.

Iowa responded with Stevens’ third field goal of the game — a career-long 54-yarder — to restore a 23-7 lead with 1:20 left in the third. On Iowa’s next possession, the freshman tacked on a 25-yard field goal to push the margin to 26-7 with 10:11 to play.

The Hawkeyes clinched matters with 5:13 left when Arland Bruce IV took a jet sweep around right end for a 23-yard touchdown.

–Field Level Media